The question of disclosure has been weighing on my mind heavily as of late. Under what circumstances should a psychopath or otherwise antisocial disclose their status and to whom? I already see my antisocial readers rolling their eyes as they read these words. “No true antisocial would reveal themselves,” they probably are thinking. I certainly can understand that as the degree of disorder rises, the inclination to disclose weakens. However, I do believe that there are matters that affect psychopaths that today’s zeitgeist of being “more antisocial than thou” silence. I have reason to believe that I am not the only antisocial individual that seeks a bond with the world. I also have reason to think that a level playing field is agreeable to many antisocials. The reasons may vary, but ultimately there are legitimate thoughts that would lead to disclosure. The reception may – at this stage of human progress – be chilling and unilaterally hostile, with some exceptions, but this is part of the calculus that any antisocial must perform when determining how he wishes to relate to another human being. I encourage all of my readers to put down their preconceptions and defenses for a moment and examine the charged subject of disclosure.
There are certain things that must be disclosed in relationships lest they eventually come to life and devastate the unaware. Fertility, biological sex, previous offspring, criminal record, etc. are all such items that should be laid out in the open for the other party to evaluate whether the relationship can continue. I would suggest that these types of matters not be discussed on a first date, but they definitely should be discussed before the relationship gets serious or otherwise headed toward long-term status. I’m sure the reader can name other types of characteristics that should be revealed as well, but one sticks out for me as particularly worthy of discussion: the ability to empathize (affectively). Many would be devastated to learn that their partner has no capacity for affective empathy toward them, much less the ability to truly “love” the person they are with. In many ways, this would be a selfish dealbreaker if the relationship was otherwise functional, but the very fact that it could irrevocably damage a person makes it worthy of required discussion between two individuals. This is a realization that I struggle with as I explore the possibility of one day having another relationship.
The key to being a successful liar is to sprinkle just enough truth to where even the most sour lie goes down like sugar. That said, I don’t always follow my own advice. I often have several arcs in play at any given moment with people that are close to each other. If they were so keen as to compare notes, I’d be in a world of hurt. Often, these arcs are spun simply for the sake of lying, not out of convenience or any other tangible benefit to me. I’ve known of many others that are or claim to be psychopathic and the narrative seems to hold. Our tongues get us into trouble because we simply are prone to speak falsely.
Psychopaths are pathological liars. We lie to the people we meet and we lie to ourselves. I would surmise that a differentiator between the successful psychopath and the unsuccessful psychopath is not only the magnitude of the lie but the frequency of the lies as well. Some psychopaths come up with incredible lies worthy of their self-grandiosity. Some, like myself, tell mostly truth so that falsehoods are swallowed whole. It is a diverse spectrum of lying, but there is one constant that unifies all psychopaths: we lie to get what we want and feel no remorse over those lies we have spun.
A reader sent in the following prompt:
There’s also the topic of manipulating people without negative intent and how empaths can still take it the wrong way if they find out about it. ‘Why didn’t you just say so’ and ‘But you weren’t honest with me’ being common responses, sometimes even disregarding whatever results it had in favor of looking at the disliked methods. Ties into discussions about the value of things like truth and trust.
They raise a good point. Manipulation does not have to be nefarious. Lying does not have to carry ill intent. Neurotypicals often differentiate themselves from psychopaths because of these very notions of truth and trust. Deceit is a universal trait, however, and it is dishonest to believe that psychopaths and neurotypicals are really all that different when it comes to selective truth and ambivalent manipulation.